Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Space Shuttle thoughts

I know the NASA space shuttle program is scheduled to have 4 more missions, but I keep having this feeling that it will suffer another disaster and be cancelled before the final 3 are flown. I hope I am wrong.

Being a government program, I don't find this particularly surprising, and even when the shuttle program began I kept wondering how the inevitable disasters would be handled, but I hate to think of the wasted lives and lost scientific data. After all, my money has been taken against my will to pay for it. (However, if my feelings are borne out by future events, and some govgoons are looking for someone to beat up as punishment and they run across this blog, I have neither the inclination nor the know-how nor the opportunity to sabotage any space mission. Nor would I assist anyone who did, since that would be as distasteful to me as assisting government. Just so you know.)

Until and unless government either gets out of the way, or people advance the science in defiance of government, space exploration will continue to be stalled where it sits now. I should be writing this blog from the moon or an asteroid by now. Or, at least have that option. Government keeps guarding the gates of the future, keeping humanity trapped in the solved problems of the past. That is inexcusable.

Tao Liberty Ching

'Choice' makes all the difference

'Choice' makes all the difference

Let's imagine two scenarios. In both a dollar of your money is going to finance something you don't like.

In the first scenario you choose to do business with a company which supports a cause that goes against your principles, but for some reason you continue to do business with them. You may grumble, but you have decided the value of the product or service you get from them outweighs the objections to how they are spending a percentage of the money they get from your business.

Now lets imagine the same dollar going to support the same personally-objectionable cause, but in this case the money is taken by the city of Albuquerque, the state of New Mexico, or the Federal government through taxation, in other words, under threat of death. Even if you are still under the impression that the penalty for keeping the fruits of your own labors falls short of death (it doesn't), the fact that you are given no choice in the matter should make the loss of that dollar less tolerable. There is a monopoly that you are compelled to "do business with" in this case.

Isn't the earlier scenario more palatable to you? After all, if at some point you finally decide that you can do without that company's product or service- maybe a competitor opens for business- you can vote with your wallet. Government forbids that choice by "law", although it still happens.